Support Local: Aztec Graphics

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San Diego is full of entrepreneurs and locally owned businesses, and these businesses give our city a lot of color and charm. Family owned small businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, they provide 55 percent of all jobs in the U.S. and 54 percent of U.S. sales. It’s important to support the people in our community who have taken a risk and decided to go into business for themselves. If you’re looking to support local and you have a love for art, you’l want to check out Aztec Graphics.

Aztec Graphics is a local, family owned art and framing shop in Pacific Beach. The shop is owned by the Bailey family, which includes a husband and wife team (Rick and Barbara), and their son, Timothy. In the early 80’s before they had their brick and mortar shop, Rick and Barbara sold framed art at Kobe’s Swap Meet. This allowed them to test the waters without too much expense (they rented their first space for $60). Barbara grew up in the business of art and framing; her parent’s owned a shop on Long Island while she was growing up. When she moved out to San Diego in the early 1982, she and Rick decided to continue on with the business. This February, they will celebrate 27 years of business ownership.

Since renting a space at Kobe’s Swap Meet, Aztec Graphics has grown exponentially. They’re now the only poster store in San Diego, though most of their business comes from framing. “Nowadays, most people buy posters on Amazon. Remember when people used to buy posters in the mall?” There is something very charming about Aztec Graphics. When you walk in, you immediately feel welcomed and cared for. Their Yelp reviews speak volumes about the quality of their work and customer service (there’s pages and pages of 5 star reviews that praise the owners by name). Nick F. writes, “Barbra has done many custom jobs for me all of which turned out amazing. Aztec Graphics has the mom and pop feel right in the heart of PB. In addition to doing custom matting, and framing they have a large selection of posters, and framed artwork (often from local artists). I love supporting places like this, and when the quality matches the customer service your guaranteed a great experience.”

When asked what sets them apart from other framing stores, Barbara said, “We’re personable. We take a lot of pride in our framing, and we go above and beyond with our customer service.”

Four times a year, Aztec Graphics hauls their posters out to SDSU to set up a space for students to purchase art. If you’ve been on campus during the beginning of the semester, you’ve probably walked by their posters and stopped to take a gander. Rick and Barbara will be there this Thursday, selling to their biggest market: college students.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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